Loans approved for 350 MW Morocco solar projects

The loans, of €100 million (US$123 million) and $119 million, will be used to develop two new power stations with capacity totaling 350 MW. Total capacity for the Ouarzazate project will be around 500 MW. Funds for the two loans will come from the ADB’s own resources and the Clean Technology Fund. The Ouarzazate project is part of the Moroccan Solar Energy Program.

Alex Rugamba, director of the AfDB Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, said “The project is one of the innovative developments in the energy sector supported by the Bank, based on the technology used and the financial arrangements with the support of the Climate Investment Funds, namely a public-private partnership supported by several donors. The Bank’s participation in this second phase will support its position as a leading partner in the development of Morocco and strengthen its dominant role in combatting the effects of climate change,”

This is the second project funded by the AfDB at the Ouarzazate solar complex. The first, in 2012, involved a loan of €100 million ($123 million) from the Bank’s own resources and a loan of $100 million from the Clean Technologies Fund towards the completion of the first phase of the NOOR Ouarzazate complex.

Work on the first phase began in 2013 with the construction of the first 160 MW solar power station, which is scheduled to come into operation by the end of 2015. The project complements some of the operations currently being implemented in the energy sector in Morocco, such as the project to develop the electricity transport and distribution network, which will mostly be used to take production from the Ouarzazate complex.

The Moroccan Solar Energy Program has received praise in recent weeks, with the International Energy Association hailing its ‘[…] admirable determination to play to its strengths’. The scheme aims to install 2 GW of solar, 2 GW of wind power, and raise its hydropower capacity also to 2 GW by 2020.